The Low World
(working title only)
. . .
The Low World Series
. . .
JJ looked around her. What she saw before her appeared to be her world, but different. This version was darker and clouded with a fine gray mist that hovered just about the ground. Gone were the brilliant greens of the grass and blues of the sky. It was as if the world had been changed to a grayscale photograph.
Taking a few steps forward, it felt as though she were walking on sponges. The ground actually seemed to press downward with each step reminding her of a foam mattress. Leaves in various shades of gray covered the ground like a carpet, only moving as she walked by. As she continued to walk forward she was highly aware of the dead silence all around her. No wind, no traffic noises, no birds, nothing but the creepy stillness, and not another person in sight.
She realized that she was in the park across the street from her house, but it looked different. Something about the dimensions of her surroundings were off but she couldn’t quite figure out what it was. The hill she was walking up was the same but taller and the buildings looked as if they had been stretched out, wider than normal.
She remembered getting out of bed this morning and arriving at school, but nothing much after that. Without a better idea, she began to walk forward up the hill. How can I be here when I should be at school? Did I fall asleep and sleep-walk out of the school? No way, someone would have stopped me.
Looking around she noticed that both the park and street, normally very loud and busy, were dead silent. No children running about and yelling and not a car in sight on the street. And still, this strange mist. I must be dreaming. It’s like a bad horror movie.
Continuing forward, she crossed the street and walked up the front steps to her house. Opening the door, she walked inside and looked around. The inside of her home had the same look as outside, as if it had been washed in gray. The only difference was that the mist seemed to be gone.
Walking through the house expecting to wake up any minute, she crept up the stairs to the second floor where her bedroom was. Just as she reached the top of the steps she heard a noise. Stopping, she stood completely still and listened. There it was again! Someone was in her bedroom and they were humming an eerie sounding song. Funny, I know that tune but from where?
Creeping forward as quietly as she could, she took hold of the doorknob and in one quick motion, turned the knob and threw the door open. Standing in the middle of her room was a boy. He looked to be about her age, maybe a couple of years older, and a few inches taller. He had dark, almost black, hair and very fair skin as if he had spent a lot of time indoors. She was just about to ask him what he was doing in her house when he let out a very shrill whistle that hurt her ears so that she had to cover them with her hands.
The boy walked to the middle of the room, turned to look right at her, and said, “Jalynn it’s time. We need your help. Come soon.” Then simply vanished into thin air. He called me Jalynn. Only my mother has ever called me that. How did he know my name? Seconds later she felt herself begin to fall right through the bedroom floor and the world went black.
to be continued . . .